Continued from page 1

He never backed down, either.

That was most evident during the 1980s when he went to court _ and won _ for the right to move his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. Even after he moved the Raiders back to Oakland, he sued for $1.2 billion to establish that he still owned the rights to the L.A. market.

While some in Southern California and the Bay Area remain bitter about the moves, others never lost love for the Raiders because of what they _ and Davis _ stood for, not where they played.

“I don’t know if he would condone this, but to me, he’s the original gangster,” said Ice Cube, a Los Angeles area native whose rap group “NWA” embraced the Raiders’ attitude and colors in the early 1990s. “He did it his way. I call him the Frank Sinatra of football. He really showed that you could be yourself and you still could be the best. You don’t have to conform to be the best.”

Ice Cube and MC Hammer also enjoyed hugs with each other before the game and with Jackson, CEO Amy Trask and Davis‘ son, Mark, who is expected to run the franchise along with the late owner’s wife, Carol.

Al was like an uncle to many fans growing up,” said MC Hammer, an Oakland native. “Just had to show my respects.”

People carrying flowers, flags, silver and black pompoms, jerseys, helmets and other cherished memories have stopped by Raiders headquarters since Davis died to pay tribute to the longtime owner.

For others, Sunday was the first _ and perhaps final time _ to say goodbye.

“He was a man’s man,” said Hendricks, a Hall of Fame linebacker for the Raiders from 1975-83. “It’s a sad day for Raider Nation. But the Raiders will live on. And so will Al’s memory.”


Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: